Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Football?

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Soccer cleats have come a long way since they first appeared. They have progressed from heavy leather to lightweight synthetic soccer cleats. Since these cleats are versatile and adaptable to any situation, you may be wondering, “can you use soccer cleats for football?”

Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Football?

Yes, you can use soccer cleats for football, in fact, most competitive football leagues and tournaments allow them. Since they are helpful for any grass field sport, having a pair of soccer cleats in your bag can be a helpful backup. 

Cleats are part of an athlete’s uniform whether it be soccer or football. Yet, each sport has different kinds of cleats that allow better and smoother play.

A pair of orange soccer cleats

Some people will argue that cleats don’t really help much and don’t improve your abilities at all. While it’s partly true, a cleat’s design and construction will help an athlete perform comfortably and safely, which may even enhance performance level. 

They are, after all, foot armor. This is why years of research and development have gone up into multiple sorts of cleats.

Soccer cleats, in general, are very versatile and can almost be used in any sport. However, what makes the soccer cleats usable for football?

Cleats Height

Football requires a lot more contact than soccer. That is why football cleats prioritize ankle covering to prevent injuries. Linemen, for example, benefit from football cleats with excellent ankle covering. This is because they frequently come into direct contact throughout the game. 

Soccer cleats, on the contrary, are low-top to enhance ankle flexibility. The lower-cut soccer cleats make it easier to reach high speeds because there are no restrictions on the ankles. They are especially useful for running backs and wide receivers. After all, they need to change directions to avoid getting tackled quickly.

Soccer Cleat Materials

Cleats are made from a variety of materials, and it is up to the athlete to choose which ones they like. After all, each material has different benefits, and they can influence your performance. Most of the time, designers create soccer and football cleats from synthetic or leather materials.

Leather cleats are often designed for comfort and flexibility. This material effortlessly stretches and molds to the curve of your foot, providing a snug fit, so they don’t come loose when you kick or run and without affecting your feet’s sensibility. Leather is also more durable than synthetics, so it will last you longer.

Synthetic cleats are lighter in weight and less expensive to produce. Also, synthetics will not absorb water if the field is too wet due to the rain. Water can make your cleats feel heavier when you kick and run and also makes the shoes more difficult to clean after a game. Leather cleats, on the other hand, will absorb water and make your soccer shoes heavier, negatively impacting your game.

Are Soccer and Football Cleats the Same?

Soccer cleats are lightweight and are usually low-top to provide maximum speed. Football cleats, on the other hand, have thicker outsoles and are heavier in order to protect the feet. This is due to the high physical contact in football. 

Soccer cleats are also one-dimensional and designed for speed. Depending on your position in the field, you’ll search for specific characteristics in your footwear. Though, the design will always prioritize speed. This is because players must run, perform quick cuts, and have bursts of acceleration. 

Two teams of footballers playing in the field

In football, roles on the field differ greatly, and you’ll need cleats that will help you play better in each situation. In general, football cleats come in 3 styles that cater to different positions

High-top football cleats are suitable for linemen as they help support the lateral motions. The high-top also supports the ankles, which helps players who are constantly having physical contact. 

Mid-cut and low-cut football cleats are suitable for defensive backs, running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks. These roles need some support as well as mobility. Low-cut football cleats are the most practical option in this situation. This is because, when compared to the other two cuts, they give the quickest possible running pace.  

Are Soccer Cleats Good for Football?

Good mobilityDoesn’t work for all positions
LightweightDoesn’t offer ankle protection
Enhances running paceMight not have as much traction as others

Even though it depends on your position, a pair of soccer cleats are very convenient for you if you’re a wide receiver, defensive back, or running back.

After all, soccer cleats are lightweight and built for speed. That makes them great for wide receivers who need to do quick cuts often. The weight of soccer cleats makes them good for running and defensive backs who need shoes light enough to give them maximum running speed.

This is great for increasing your running pace. Additionally, their lightness allows you to avoid defenders easier.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about soccer cleats and football.

Can You Use Soccer Cleats for Other Sports?

Yes, however, it is not recommended. Soccer cleats are intended to be used for soccer, therefore, they might not work as well for other sports.

In fact, depending on the sport, there is probably a specialized shoe for it. For instance, there are specialized shoes for basketball and volleyball.

Do NFL Kickers Use Soccer Cleats?

Yes, however, not all NFL kickers do it. Since this position has a lot of options when it comes to cleats, some decide to use soccer ones. On the other hand, some athletes decide to use specialized football cleats.

Can You Wear Any Cleats in the NFL?

No, unlike other sports, you are not allowed to pick any cleat and use it in an NFL match. For example, if you wanted to use a customized cleat, they would need to go through a revision.

If the officials allowed it, you would be able to wear it. However, you cannot just wear them without any restrictions.


Soccer cleats are adaptable footwear that can be used for football as well as other sports. They can even help you save money if you want to try similar sports. Just keep in mind that soccer cleats are made for soccer and will not perform as efficiently as football cleats.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.